Atom has a Branding Problem - The RSS Blog
Randy Charles Morin blogs about Really Simple Syndication, RDF, FOAF, The Semantic Web and Social Software.
Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
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Wed, 25 May 2005 03:37:39 GMT
Atom has a Branding Problem

User: Could you please add RSS feeds for your news postings?

Marc Hedlund: Why, sure, I respond. No problem. In fact, they're already there -- every one of those feeds is already on the site. The thing is, see, we used an icon that reads "Atom Feed" to mark them, and apparently lots of O'Reilly-site-reading Java-programming feedback-sending feed-requesters don't know what an Atom feed is. And who can blame them? [cut] Let me tell you what we should have done, and what we're going to do real quick now:

  1. We're going to use the ubiquitous, little, orange "RSS" icon everywhere we want to show people that we offer a feed.
  2. We will not be indicating whether said feed is Atom, RSS, 0.91, or 8.0. The user should not have to care -- the format of the data is the feedreaders' problem. The user's problem is to find the feed, and to make that easier, we're going to use the closest thing to a standard indicator.
  3. We're going to provide a "What's this?" help link right next to every RSS icon. Plenty of people don't know what an RSS feed is, and we're going to do our part to help them find out about RSS.
  4. We're going to use feed auto-discovery wherever it makes sense to do so.

Randy: Great advice! And I don't have to change a thing to be in compliance.

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